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Seeking, A Few Smart, Young Wannabes...

The Outlook-MDRA ranking of the top professional colleges—in its fifth avatar—presents few surprises

Seeking, A Few Smart, Young Wannabes...
Sanjay Rawat
Seeking, A Few Smart, Young Wannabes...
  • Two-thirds of the top 30 engineering colleges are run by the government.
  • Twenty-two engineering colleges in the rankings are from the south; only three of them are government-run
  • IIT, Kanpur, and IIT, Mumbai, have tied for the best infrastructure and facilities in the country.
  • Private institute BITS, Pilani, has topped the ranking in overall student development.


As we tentatively get back to the Great India Story in times of global economic uncertainty, we don’t need more upsetting changes. Professionals are just about getting back into gear; pay hikes are, thankfully, back in fashion; and stories of hiring abound. Of course, memories of a topsy-turvy 2009 linger. So, please, let’s have some good news now, shall we? Well, the Outlook-MDRA ranking of the top professional colleges—in its fifth avatar—presents few surprises. Scan through these listings of the top professional colleges, and you will find many familiar names, the usual centres of excellence.

But is that necessarily a good thing? It’s quite evident that very few new names have waltzed into Outlook’s annual ranking. It’s a disturbing trend, suggesting a stasis in higher education. Sure, it takes some years for new entrants to establish themselves, but where are the challengers? Instead, we are left with the “bold and the beautiful”, institutes which know how to work the system, promise the moon, and, alas, fail to deliver. That’s what you get from an education system that is completely compromised, one in urgent need of fixing.

Our original plan was an ambitious one. In a first for any survey of top professional colleges, we decided to use objective data as the base to rank all nine professional streams. The response was good, but did not meet our expectations. Many institutes did not stick to the deadline, or sent incomplete data, forcing us to restrict that part of the survey to three streams: engineering, law and hotel management. For the remaining, we have used purely perceptual data to rank the top institutes. Next year, we plan to get more institutes to participate in this exercise.

Hopefully, the planned recast of higher education will help clear the haze around the quality of institutes, brought out in our story on the scam that goes on in the name of accreditation. It’s a challenging task, but one that must be undertaken to protect the rights of students. As our extract of TeamLease’s labour report highlights, there is a grave danger that India’s so-called “demographic dividend” will turn into a nightmare. The flashpoints are already evident in large swathes of our country. We would be foolish to ignore them. As for students, these are periods of uncertainty for higher education. As always, choose wisely.

Outlook-MDRA Survey

Top 3 Engineering Colleges

  1. IIT, Kharagpur
  2. IIT, Kanpur
  3. IIT, Bombay

Top 3 Medical Colleges

  1. AIIMS, Delhi
  2. AFMC, Pune
  3. CMC, Vellore

Top 3 Dental Colleges

  1. CDS, Manipal
  2. MAMC, Delhi
  3. Govt Dental College, Mumbai

Top 3 Law Colleges

  1. NLSIU, Bangalore
  2. NALSR, Hyderabad
  3. ILS, Pune

Top 3 Colleges For Social Work

  1. TISS, Mumbai
  2. DSSW, Delhi Univ
  3. MSSW, Chennai

Top 3 Architecture

  1. IIT, Roorkee
  2. SPA, Delhi
  3. Sir JJ College, Mumbai

Top 3 Mass Communication

  1. Xavier Inst, Mumbai
  2. ACJ, Chennai
  3. AJ Kidwai, Delhi

Top 3 Hotel Management Colleges

  1. IHM, Mumbai
  2. IHM, Aurangabad
  3. Welcome, Manipal
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